We’ve known for a while that Apex House, the unlovely redbrick block at the town centre junction where Seven Sisters Road meets the High Road, is due for demolition and replacement. The building, which currently houses Haringey’s Customer Services for the east of the borough, is no longer fit for purpose. (So much for forward-thinking architectural design in the 70s.) The site, nearly 1/2 hectare of brownfield land just 20 yards from Seven Sisters Station and so 20 minutes to Oxford Circus, has been sold to the developer Grainger for £3.4million. The council claimed in their Cabinet meeting of July 2014 that the district valuer was satisfied that this is market value. We have now seen the first draft plans for its replacement. A 22 storey tower block of mostly private housing. 95 dwellings, and retail on the ground floor. The architect is McAslan, a prestigious firm persuaded into the borough via BorisTheMayor, and recently installed in a shopfront converted at a cost of over £180,000 paid for by Haringey Council ie using my council tax and yours. McAslan and Grainger and their promotions companies are showing their plans in a series of small meetings, by way of early consultation. They will be put online in a week or so, meanwhile here are some (not very good quality, photos from a slide show) pics of their logic and sketches of the tower.
After the meeting I had a sudden realisation of the dissonance between the architects/planners/developers approach and mine (and maybe others’) – they actually LIKE these enormous buildings. We are meant to be proud to have such a STATEMENT on our doorstep, to give us a sense of PLACE. Being able to see this thing from the other side of Finsbury Park or from Dalston is meant to be an advantage – hence that fourth slide showing all the sight lines – how lucky we are! .Updates as we get them. Here’s one – “Please find attached an invitation to our public exhibition to discuss our plans and initial designs which will take place on Wednesday 25 February from 4pm to 8pm, and on Saturday 28 February from 12pm to 4pm. The exhibition will be held at John McAslan + Partners design studio, 451 Tottenham High Road, N17 6QH. ”
Update 2 – it’s up to 154 dwellings now. That must mean even tinier flats than the new norm.